There’s a concern in the manufacturing business that will keep you up at night. It’s the thought that won’t leave your brain, the concept that taunts you in an endless loop.
What manufacturing process should you use to produce the best materials for your company?
Ok, so this might be a little hyperbolic. But it’s true that in manufacturing, you want to use the process that gives you the best products to keep your company in the green. With such a wide variety of methods to choose from, how do you know which one is right for you?
Have you ever heard of rubber injection molding? Curious how it could innovate your manufacturing company?
Well, question no longer. We’re here to give you a guide all about the process of rubber injection molding and the advantages it has for your company.
What Is Rubber Injection Molding?
Let’s start with the basics. Rubber injection molding is a technique used to craft rubber parts either for sale independently or used as part of a bigger whole.
It first appeared in factories around the 1960s based on the plastic injection molding process. That process had been invented by two brothers named John and Isiah Hyatt in 1872.
To begin, you first take uncured rubber and put it into the injection machine. Different variants of industrial polymers casting resins will work in the machine as well.
As the rubber goes through the machine, it heats up in the injection nozzle and plasticized before deploying in specific amounts through the same nozzle. Now that the rubber is moldable, it trickles through a runner and several sets of gates before reaching the mold. The runner also heats the rubber even more as it goes.
In the mold, the rubber goes through multiple cycles of high pressure before finally reaching a cooled, solid state. It is then swapped out of the machine for the cycle to begin all over again. This repetition happens automatically.
Once finished, the molded piece can be shrunken or modified to fit the requirements your company desires from the specific piece. It is worth noting that two other primary types of rubber injection molding do exist (compression and transfer molding). However, as you will see, rubber injection molding tends to shine above the others as the superior method.
The Main Advantages of Rubber Injection Molding
So now that you know precisely what rubber injection molding is, why is it the right choice for you and your company?
Well, one primary advantage of the injection molding process is the speed it has over other methods. This speed is thanks to the higher degrees of pressure that occurs with injection molding. As a result, the machine can cycle through new parts at a fast pace and keep a high output of products coming out without requiring frequent breaks or maintenance.
Does this speed cause a trade-off for lower quality products? Luckily, no: rubber injection molding creates more robust quality products than its competitors.
Since injection molding does not need to rely on pre-forms, identical parts become easier to manufacture. This helps to ensure that quality will not dip from one product to another: they are all made the same. Plus, now you don’t need people to insert those pre-forms by hand.
As you may have already guessed, this also means you will have a higher amount of product on your hands. This way, you won’t need to worry as much about running low on your supply of parts.
To make the deal even sweeter, injection molding also allows different materials to be used at the same time rather than having to put them in across multiple steps. This will help out with both productivity and the speed at which parts are created.
More Reasons to Use Rubber Injection Molding
Do you hate machines that produce a lot of waste, burning through your precious resources? If so, injection molding has your back.
You may have heard of flash, which is an event where heat or pressure is too low for the rubber at some point during the process. As a result, the rubber will leak out and cause excess waste. This waste is then cut off of the machine, usually by hand.
Thankfully, injection machines have meager rates of flash compared to other molding methods.
In addition to not producing a lot of waste, waste made by injection molding can even recycle in some cases. This, in turn, reduces the amount of material you lose even further. After all, it’s not wasted if you can re-use it to make more products!
Injection molding also uses a procedure called closed molding, where the materials go completely inside two pieces of mold “cases” while molding. This process allows more detailed pieces than if you were using open molding.
The entire injection process even makes it possible to produce smaller parts that would otherwise be difficult to make. Bear in mind though, that injection molding is more tailored to making these smaller, intricate parts. Using it to make large parts may end up costing you a pretty penny.
Finally, rubber injection molding can run itself (automation) as opposed to requiring human assistance. This automation will give a boost both in speed and cost-saving measures (now you don’t have to hire as many factory workers).
Carry On You Wayward Molder
You now know all about the process of rubber injection molding and the many advantages it holds. Go out and sing your knowledge to the world (or don’t: people might look at you weird).
If you’re curious about finding more ways to make your company the best company, you can check out some of the other posts on our blog.
Remember: next time you need rubber parts made fast and with high quality, give rubber injection molding a try. You may find out it is exactly what you needed all along.